Blog reader Norm sent me this link to something called “The first annual conference on geocentrism” to be held in South Bend, Indiana near the University of Notre Dame. It has the title Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right.
My first reaction was that this was an Onion-type spoof but it seems to be legit.
Of course, the choice of any point in space to be the origin of the frame of reference is purely arbitrary. Which frame one chooses depends on one’s purpose. For purely practical purposes such as navigation, choosing the Earth to be at rest makes sense. The heliocentric model is the best choice for describing the motions of the planets, and the center of a galaxy is most convenient to describe the motions of stars in the galaxy.
The church was wrong in insisting that the geocentric model was the only choice and it was Galileo’s assertion that there were alternatives to it that disturbed them. All this has been well known for some time and so the point of this conference completely mystifies me. Are the organizers really suggesting that there is only one allowed frame of reference and that its origin is at the Earth?